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WHILE I am writing these words, a pair of "bright particular" eyes, just on a level with the table, are following my pen in its eccentric movements over the page. Don't you and I wish our eyes were just on a level with the tables again! The owner of the eyes aforesaid, is a Lilliputian, not nearer to Heaven, as Hamlet had it, even "by the altitude of a copine," than PORT, and he lacks a sheet of paper of three feet. And speaking of eyes, where can you find a brighter pair of interrogation-points, than the eyes of a child? Seeing every thing, and turning every thing into a query, that they see?
Subject yourself for a half hour to one of these youthful inquisitors, and you are more of a philosopher than I take you to be, if he doesn't pose you, in less than half the time.
But small as he is, his ambition, like a vine in a garden, has run all over the month of December, and leaved and flowered at a tropical rate, some where near the 25th. 'How many days is it to Christ
'How many Saturdays is it?' There is no
school on Saturdays, and the little rascal keeps his calendar by play-days! Well, let him, for few enough of them he'll find by and by, unless he lives on into the Millennium. 'And will Santa Claus come?—and how can he come down the chimney and the stove-pipe ?—and does he come Christmas or New Year's?' There's that vine of his, a week longer than it was, a minute ago.
'Oh! have him come Christmas! Have him come Christmas!' and eyes, and feet, and heart, for that matter, all dance together. Have him come Christmas! There spoke the child of a larger growth. There peeped out the man, through the disguise of boyhood, thus early drawing on the future, like a gay heir in expectancy, to make up the deficits of the present-an extravagance, that has made many a man and woman bankrupt for the amount of a thousand hopes sterling, and the undivided half' of a life full of happiness,
Men have a weary train of days-days of care and toil, if not of tears; but children have, in their calendar, but four or five days in a whole yearChristmas, New Year's, and Birth-day, Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving-but they, like great lamps,
light up all the year, and keep the little fellows ennial candidates for hope.
How much happiness is purchased for how little in the Holidays! And it is easily calculated that if eighteen pence will render a boy just turned of six, supremely happy, two-and-six pence will make a lad of nine, a prince.
Who wouldn't invest in such property!
But those eyes; there they are yet, looking over the table's edge, and I cannot help dreading the time when they will look down upon it, and one can see shadows in them, and the coming of a real tear in them for children seldom weep and a heavy light in them, and dimness and death in them.
True, there are shadows there now, but they are like those
"by a cloud in a summer-day made, Looking down on a field of blossoming clover."
A cloud! Life itself is a morning cloud, and whether with shadows or glory, glides swiftly and silently by.
The Wonders of “Galena.”
SOME BODY, curious in minerals, has sent me a piece of Lead Ore, as bright in coloring and regular in form, as if it had been ‘made by hand,' and there lies the little cube on the table, this minute.
I am informed it is some eighty-five per cent. pure lead, and it is very likely.
Lead is gray, sometimes "silver gray," it is dull, it has no music in it, it cannot be shaped into swords, nor yet into ploughshares, and yet it is not without its poetry.
True, we cannot make blades or bells of it, but we can make balls. Who would suppose now, looking at that dull lump of lead, that it ever 'took to itself wings,' like gold, its better, and flew away? I said it had no music in it, but I was too fast; I retract, for there is a little song in that stupid block, that has charmed princely ears before now. Was it Charles the XIIth, or Frederick the Great, that thought the singing of bullets, the sweetest of singing? Sing? Maybe you do not think lead can sing? But moulded into bullets, and flying like hail upon
the field of battle, you shall hear its song, as it hums by like a harmless bird. Often and often has it proved a knell to strong, tall warriors; often and often has it made widows and orphans, and done what preachers could not do-brought tears into dry eyes. Ah! there is a wonderful eloquence, as well as a wonderful song, in the steel-gray lead. Sometimes it sounds a little like a sigh, and it is not to be marvelled at, considering the errand it so often goes on.
But there is more about lead than has been told yet. Look at it now, so cloddish, so senseless. It has no endurance; place it in the fire, and it runs away; it cannot resist heat. Strike it with a hammer, but it gives out no ringing cry; it is dumb.
And yet, senseless as it is, they have made a nerve of it, and hundreds of lives and thousands of hopes depend upon its doing its office.
Mists are over the water and clouds are over the sky, and the lights are out on the shore-the lee shore-and the vessel is bewildered, if not lost. They must move-they keep moving. Shall they go upon the rocks? Shall they drive upon the shore, a broken wreck? Heaven has no eyes for them, earth no eyes, they no eyes, and so they must feel their way into port.